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Falling Mortgage Rates Generate Surge of Potential Refinance Candidates

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A new report by Black Knight states that the decline in mortgage rates confirmed by Freddie Mac have resulted in 5.9 million refinance candidates in April—an increase of 2 million from March.

Mortgage rates have been on a downward trend over the past few months, and the average rate for all mortgage types fell to 4.20% in April. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.99%.

The report from Black Knight states that the 5.9 million candidates is the largest this group has been in almost three years, and represents an average of $1.6 billion in potential monthly savings by refinancing. Of those 5.9 million, nearly 1 million eligible for refinancing took out mortgages last year.

Black Knight adds that the amount is the most of any vintage, and more than all of 2012-2017 combined, which represents not only the greatest attrition risk, but also the biggest pocket of refinance-lending opportunity.

The report also recaps the latest home price index, which saw March, a month that typically sees the largest home price gains, reported an increase of 1%. This marks the 13-consecutive month of home price deceleration. Year-over-year appreciation has slipped to 3.8%, the first time annual home price growth fell below its 25-year average of 3.9% since 2012.

Eighty five of the nation’s 100 largest markets saw their rate of growth decline over the past year. Markets such San Jose, California, Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco, California, have witnessed growth rates decline by 10 percentage points or more.

San Jose’s growth rate decline 30%, Seattle’s dipped 13%, and San Francisco recorded a drop of 12%.

Affordability for homeowners received positive news, as of those 85 markets, 65 of them saw slowing at the lower end of the market.

CoreLogic reported that 31.1% of homes sold in March were either at or above the list price. The amount of homes that sold at or above the list price peaked in Q2 2018 at more than 40%.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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